Registration Open for Upcoming Classes

UPDATE:  8/28/21

This session of Puppy Kindergarten will be held at the Celtic K9 Academy facility at N2501 Wenham Road, east of Fort Atkinson off Highway 106.   The class will be held on Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m., beginning September 1st.  Registrants will be advised of further details.   Please note there are no restroom facilities available.  Puppy K class is full — registration is now closed.

Thank you to Celtic K9 Academy for offering to let us use their facility!

UPDATE: 8/11/21

A fire at the building adjacent to the KCFA Kennel Club may affect classes scheduled to be held there in our training rooms.

Basic Skills and Everyday Manners, set to begin Tuesday, August 17, will go on as planned at the Humane Society of Jefferson County. 

We appreciate the kind messages of concern and support from our many friends, and we apologize for any inconvenience due to this unfortunate, unexpected turn of events.

To dispel any concerns — The Kennel Club of Fort Atkinson does not provide dog boarding services, and dogs are never left alone at our training site.  Dogs are only in the facility together with their owners/handlers, when on site for training or other events.

We’re incredibly grateful to the firefighters from Fort Atkinson and from far and wide who responded to fight this fire!  The KCFA facility would’ve likely been a total loss if not for their massive efforts, made even more difficult by the extremely hot weather. 

Registration is now open for training classes set to begin soon.  Classes will be filled first-come, first-served, and COVID-19 protocols will be followed for all classes.   Due to the recent increase in COVID cases, masks will be required for indoor classes, regardless of vaccination status.  Enrollees must also sign a COVID-19 Participation Agreement, to be submitted with registration forms and fees.

Puppy Kindergarten will begin Wednesday, August 18, at 5:30 p.m., at the KCFA Training Site.  Basic Skills & Everyday Manners will begin Tuesday, August 17, at 6:30 p.m., in the Community Room of the Humane Society of Jefferson County.  Continuing Basic will begin Saturday, September 11, at 9:00 a.m., at the KCFA Training Site.

Please visit the Course Descriptions page and the Dates and Registration Info page for more info and registration forms.

KCFA Founder Marleen LaPlant Passes

One of KCFA’s three founding members, Marleen LaPlant, passed away on July 1, 2021.   Marleen grew up on a farm and had a lifelong love of animals, especially dogs and dairy cows.  Marleen raised and competed in conformation and obedience with her three Dalmatians, Dottee, Stormee and Mistee.

She also made therapy dog visits to area nursing homes and libraries, etc. and was extremely active in the kennel club, doing everything from instructing classes to serving as the fun match secretary.  Marleen always encouraged dog sport “newbies,” making sure they had the information and equipment they needed, and she enthusiastically celebrated everyone’s accomplishments and successes.

In addition to “all things dog,” Marleen enjoyed traveling around the U.S., and bowling competitively.  She worked the majority of her career at Nasco, retiring in 2008 after 45 years of service.  Marleen was a strong leader, a great friend to so many, and she loved a good laugh!

Marleen is survived by her husband, John LaPlant, along with other relatives and many friends.  See Marleen’s full obituary by clicking the link below.

Marleen LaPlant Obituary ‘s Chris Spangler posted this tribute to Marleen:

“Puppy Serenade” Dedicated at Rock River Park

“Puppy Serenade” at Rock River Park, Fort Atkinson

“Puppy Serenade,” a bronze statue honoring the founders of the Kennel Club of Fort Atkinson, was recently unveiled in front of an appreciative crowd at  Rock River Park.

Patty Beran, Rita Hasel, and Marleen LaPlant began meeting in 1991 to train their dogs together, eventually founding what is now an active non-profit all-volunteer community organization.

Fort Atkinson Online’s Chris Spangler covered the unveiling ceremony and celebration.  Read her full story and view numerous photos from the event by visiting

The statue stands near a new drinking water fountain, providing refreshment for humans and canines, and includes a bench for park users to “paws” and take a rest.  The installation is near the disc golf course, along the drive between the archery range and the Clubhouse.

Update:  Puppy Serenade made the front page of the Daily Jefferson County Union.  To read the PDF visit our Puppy Serenade project page.

Register Now for Outdoor Training to Begin in June

Warmer weather is coming, and KCFA will offer four classes outdoors beginning in June!  Register today, as class sizes are limited.

Puppy Kindergarten will be held on Saturday mornings at 9:00, beginning June 5.  [Puppy K is full as of 6/4/21.] Basic Skills and Everyday Manners will also be on Saturdays, at 11:00 a.m., also beginning June 5. [Basic Skills and Everyday Manners class is full as of 6/1/21.]

Both Puppy K and Basic Skills will be held in the large fenced outdoor exercise yard at the Humane Society of Jefferson County, W6127 Kiesling Road, just off Highway 89 between Fort Atkinson and Jefferson.

A special four-week Carting workshop will begin on Saturday, June 5, at 10:00 a.m., with classes held outdoors at the KCFA training site on Oak Street.

Dogs About Town will begin Saturday, June 12, at 1:00 p.m.  Locations for this class will vary so teams can refine their skills in a variety of situations and events.

Be certain to include your contact information, legibly written, on your registration forms so instructors can contact you in case of a weather-related cancellation.

See the Course Descriptions page for more information about the classes, and the Dates, Times and Registration Information page for required registration forms.

Marine Terry Beck Scholarship Announced at K9 Veterans Day Virtual Event

Marine Terry Beck and K9 Seato

As part of the 2021 K9 Veterans Day ceremony , The Kennel Club of Fort Atkinson, Inc. (KCFA) announced the creation of a scholarship in memory of Marine Scout Dog Handler Terry Beck.   Beck was an 18-year-old Fort Atkinson resident killed in action with his K9 partner, Seato, in Vietnam in December 1967.

This scholarship, in recognition of Terry Beck’s passion to protect and serve his country and its citizens, will offer financial support to Fort Atkinson High School graduates who plan to enter the field of protective services.

A fundraising campaign has been launched in support of this scholarship, with a goal of $15,000 to be raised by September 1, 2021.

Contributions may be sent to:  KCFA – Terry Beck Scholarship, c/o Mabel Schumacher, Treasurer, 848 Messmer Street, Fort Atkinson, WI, 53538.  Checks should be made payable to “KCFA – Terry Beck Scholarship.”

The KCFA has been honoring K9s and their handlers for the past several years, working to establish March 13th as Wisconsin’s K9 Veterans Day, and hosting annual celebrations of the event.  Due to the pandemic, this year’s recognition was held virtually, honoring seventeen K9s.   The Marine Terry Beck Protective Services Scholarship was announced at the event, with speakers including Mabel Schumacher, KCFA Treasurer;  Gary Wolfram, a friend of Terry Beck’s; and Army Veteran Richard Miles.

Please visit https://youtube/qmLIeCK3pWE to view the 2021 K9 Veterans Day Virtual Event video (approximately 17 minutes in length).

For more details about the Marine Terry Beck Scholarship, please follow these links:

Fundraising Brochure Terry Beck Scholarship

Fundraising Letter Terry Beck Scholarship

Press Release Terry Beck Scholarship

We hope you will consider making a donation in support of this scholarship, established in memory of Terry Beck and Seato, and the ultimate sacrifice they made.  Thank you!

Related pages:

Coverage of K9 Veterans Day Virtual Event and Scholarship Announcement by

Daily Jefferson County Union article 2021 03 Mar 15-1

K9 Veterans Day  K9 Veterans Day is officially observed on March 13th in Wisconsin.

K9 Veterans Memorial  The K9 Veterans Memorial at McCoy Park, Fort Atkinson, honors all working K9s and features Marine Terry Beck and Seato.

Registration for Virtual Training Now Open!

Winter 2021 Virtual Training Classes Begin February 27

KCFA is pleased to announce that registration is now open for two virtual training classes:  Virtual Basic Skills and Everyday Manners and the club’s first-ever virtual puppy class, Virtual Puppies 101.

Both classes will start on Saturday, February 27.  Each class will be six weeks in length and will cost $50.  Virtual Puppies 101, scheduled for 10 a.m., is limited to 12 students; Virtual Basic Skills and Everyday Manners, scheduled at 11:30 a.m., is limited to six students.  Participants in each class will receive a training booklet, a completion certificate, and a coupon toward a future KCFA training class.

Registration for both classes is open through Wednesday, February 17, and the classes will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

While COVID-19 safety measures prevent KCFA from offering an in-person puppy socialization experience, many people who have become new puppy parents are looking for guidance during those critical first months of their puppy’s life.  Virtual Puppies 101 is appropriate for puppies from 8 to 24 weeks of age and will include instruction on puppy nutrition, health, grooming, house-training, and safety.  Real-time demonstrations and individual feedback will help students teach their puppies basic commands using principles of positive reinforcement.  Each 45-minute class will also include a question-and-answer session.

Content for Virtual Basic Skills and Everyday Manners will mirror that of KCFA’s in-person class, covering Sit, Down, and Come, along with Loose Leash Walking, Stay, Leave It, and Polite Greeting.  This class is appropriate for dogs more than 24 weeks old.  The virtual format allows handlers and their dogs to learn in the familiarity and security of their own homes, using a mostly leash-free and hands-off approach to teach handlers how to teach their dogs to work for reinforcement.  Students will have the opportunity to practice the skills demonstrated and to receive individual coaching during each 60-minute class meeting.  Concepts and skills covered each week will be supplemented with selected materials and links to web-based resources provided by email.

Both classes will utilize the Zoom video conferencing application, which can be downloaded for free (further instructions will be emailed to class registrants).  To participate interactively with two-way video and audio communication, students will need access to an internet-connected device (computer, tablet, or smartphone) equipped with a camera and microphone.  Students who do not have a computer with a camera and microphone will still be able to learn and participate by watching each class meeting in real time and submitting questions using the chat function.

For more details about Virtual Puppies 101 and Virtual Basic Skills and Everyday Manners, visit our Training Course Descriptions page .  To register, download and complete the General Agreement and the Training Class Application from the Training Dates and Registration page. (Scroll down on that page to find the links to the forms.) No vaccination records will be required for these virtual classes.

Mail completed forms and the $50 class fee by Wednesday, February 17 to: Attn: Training Committee; The Kennel Club of Fort Atkinson, Inc. (KCFA); P.O. Box 205; Fort Atkinson, WI 53538.

These classes will be filled on a first come, first served basis, so don’t delay – sign up today!


Virtual Training Begins Nov. 9

We’ve enjoyed some glorious weather during KCFA’s outdoor training classes this fall!  Unfortunately, the current rate of COVID-19 has led us to continue suspension of indoor training classes, and with colder weather just around the corner,  we’re unable to hold classes outdoors again until spring.    However, we are excited to announce that KCFA will be offering its first virtual training class!

KCFA will offer a virtual class in Basic Skills and Everyday Manners on Monday evenings at 6:30, beginning November 9th.  The class will meet virtually for six weeks, with the final class on Monday, December 14.  The cost will be $50.  To provide maximum personal interaction, participation will be limited to six students.

Each human-dog team will need access to a computer, tablet, or smartphone with a camera and microphone to allow two-way communication with the instructor.  The class will utilize Zoom, which can be downloaded for free. (Further instructions will be emailed to class registrants.)

For more details about Basic Skills and Everyday Manners, visit our Training Course Descriptions page .  To register, download and complete the General Agreement and the Training Class Application from the Training Dates and Registration page. (Scroll down on that page to find the links to the forms.) No vaccination records will be required for this virtual class.

Mail completed forms and the $50 class fee to: Attn: Training Committee; The Kennel Club of Fort Atkinson, Inc. (KCFA); P.O. Box 205; Fort Atkinson, WI 53538.

The class will be filled on a first come, first served basis, so don’t delay – sign up today!

Donations Sought for Watering Fountain Project

Project to honor founders of KCFA 

KCFA’s latest community service project, titled “Puppy Serenade,” will culminate in a artful yet practical watering fountain for human and canine users of Rock River Park in Fort Atkinson.

The club is seeking monetary donations toward completion of the bronze statue by local sculptor, Mark Dziewior and a tri-purpose (human/canine/bottle filling) fountain; and a combination bench/pedestal by local artisan, Bob Muench, from Stonecroft Masonry.

The project will honor the three founding members of KCFA—Patty Beran, Marleen LaPlant and Rita Hasel—and their dogs.

Visit our Puppy Serenade Project page for more information and a link to the recent Daily Jefferson County Union article.

Training to begin Sept. 12 – Register now!

KCFA’s Training Committee is pleased to announce that registration for Session 4 training classes (all outdoors) beginning in September, is now open!

KCFA will offer Puppy Kindergarten on Saturdays at 9:30 a.m. and Basic Skills and Everyday Manners on Saturdays at 11:00 a.m., beginning Saturday, September 12.  [Note:  Both Puppy K and Basic Skills are full as of 9/9/20.]

Both classes will be six weeks long, will cost $80, and will be held in the Humane Society of Jefferson County’s exercise yard.  This large yard is securely fenced, is convenient to the shelter’s parking lot, and is equipped with dog waste clean-up tools and disposal receptacles.  [Please note: We will not have access to the Humane Society building during these classes and there will not be access to restrooms on-site. Bring drinking water for yourself and your dog. Dress for the weather including appropriate footwear, as the grass could be wet. Registrants will be advised regarding notification of any cancellation necessary due to weather. ]

Just for KCFA members!   The popular Dogs About Town class will be offered this fall on Saturday afternoons (time and start date TBD).  This class will be open to members only and is for teams that have mastered the Basic Skills Criteria and are looking to continue with more advanced training.  The location of each class meeting will vary in order to provide the teams with different environments in which to practice their skills.  A minimum of 4 students will be needed to hold the class (maximum of 8).

As we adjust to living with the risk of exposure to the COVID-19 virus, KCFA has taken steps to resume group training classes as safely as possible.  Not only will the Session 4 classes be held outdoors, but several safety measures will be implemented to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.  These include: limiting the classes to 8 students, requiring all participants to wear a face covering and to practice social distancing, allowing only the handler of each dog to enter the fenced class area, and conducting the classes without physical contact between people, between dogs, or between people and dogs other than between a dog and its own handler.

The full list of KCFA’s safety measures can be found in the “COVID-19 Safety Acknowledgment and Participation Agreement,” a signed copy of which must be received by KCFA to secure a place in any class, along with other required forms, records, and training fees.  Registrations for Session 4 training classes will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Visit the Dates and Registration Info page for all registration forms.




Project Lead XXXII – Making Fort Atkinson Even More Dog-Friendly

The Project Lead XXXII group overcame many obstacles in completing their goal to make Fort Atkinson even more dog-friendly.  KCFA member Heather Traxler was an integral part of the 2020 Project Lead team. As a result of the group’s efforts, dogs and their people can now quench their thirst, rest their legs, and find pick-up bags as well as essential training tips, in many additional locations around town.

The Daily Jefferson County Union ran an extensive article with many photos:  Project Lead DU article 7.30.20 

KCFA publicly congratulated the 2020 Project Lead group with a letter to the editor:  Ltr to DU editor re Project Lead 7.29.20